GoI suspends law on ‘hit and run’ punishment amid protests by transporters

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Protest demonstration by truckers against new law on hit and run incidents. [FIle Photo]

New Delhi: The government of India on Saturday decided to postpone the enforcement of Sub Section (2) of Section 106 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, specifically addressing ‘causing death through reckless and negligent driving of a vehicle.’

Earlier, truckers staged widespread protests against this particular provision in various states of India.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs notification, as quoted in LiveLaw report, exercising the authority granted by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023 (45 of 2023), the Central Government has designated July 1, 2024, as the commencement date for the provisions of the Sanhita, excluding sub-section (2) of section 106.

Although passed by Parliament on December 21, 2023, replacing the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act, these laws received the President’s assent on December 25, 2023.

However, the legislation specifies that they will only take effect on a date determined by the Indian government.

Since last month, several transporters and auto-driver associations across India were on protest against the new law on hit and run incidents.

Under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS), which replaced the Indian Penal Code, drivers who cause a serious road accident by negligent driving and run away without informing the police or any official from the administration can face punishment of up to 10 years or a fine of Rs7 lakh. Earlier, the punishment in such cases was two years in the Indian Penal Code.

Private transport operators claim the law discourages drivers and may lead to unjust punishments. They claim that the drivers could be subject to mob violence when they attempt to transport the injured to hospitals and demand the repeal of the law.

Last month,  All India Motor & Goods Transport Association President, Rajendra Kapoor said “Our only demand from the govt is that the decision should have been taken after having consultations with our stakeholders. There was no discussion with anyone on this, and no one was asked about this. There should have been prior meetings and consultations.”

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